Alonso supports Sainz as “highly competitive” despite poor Ferrari time

Carlos Sainz has a significant points disadvantage to colleague Charles Leclerc heading into Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but Ferrari has renewed his contract for another two years.

Carlos Sainz Fernando Alonso PA

Despite his poor beginning of the 2022 season, Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari made a good choice in re-signing Carlos Sainz to a new two-year contract.

After the first three rounds of the season, Sainz has fallen behind colleague Charles Leclerc in the World Championship battle, and his F1-75 has already been wrecked twice.

Sainz beached his F1-75 in the gravel in Australia after chasing Leclerc over the line in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, before colliding with the barrier during testing for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

However, in the next Sprint at Imola, Sainz battled his way from 10th on the grid to fourth, placing himself in a solid position to challenge for the victory on race day.

Alonso: Ferrari should maintain their position at the top

Alonso, who claimed 11 victories throughout his five-year Ferrari tenure, thinks his former squad did the right thing by retaining Sainz on board, and predicts they will remain “extremely competitive” for a long time.

“I’m happy for him, and obviously for Ferrari. I think they did good to continue,” said Alonso, speaking to members of the media, including

“After a good season last year and a good start now, obviously they have the fastest car now, so it is good to see Carlos in that car for a few more years.

“And with these new regulations, they should stay a very competitive package.”

Imola evokes good memories for Alonso

Alonso nearly won the World Championship twice during his Ferrari stint, in 2010 and 2012, but eventually fell short of the team’s great goal.

One of his most memorable victory came with Renault at Imola, on Tifosi territory, in 2005, on his route to defeating Michael Schumacher for the championship.

Now that he’s returned with the rebranded Alpine team, he’s looking forward to another spectacular race on Sunday, where he’ll start ninth.

“Yeah, obviously [I have] great memories [with Ferrari], and at Imola, even though I think all the memories that I have here were not in a Ferrari car, and I was the enemy,” he explained.

“It’s still a good place for the sport and a lot of things happen here at this circuit.

“I didn’t have a great race last year, so that’s my most recent memory and I want to change that [on Sunday].”

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